Pride And Prejudice
Pride and Prejudice
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Pride and Prejudice
Pride and prejudice is a story by Jane Austin set in the early nineteenth century, depicting several characters and themes. It has been acclaimed widely by critics due to its elaborative discourses and exquisite demonstration of the community at that time. People vary in their choices and preferences, and they followed the values which they inherited from their ancestors. Identities of characters are distinct, representing specific mindsets and portraying distinguished personalities. Pride and vanity make up the identity of some characters in the novel. Certain characters prefer relationships and love over financial superiority. The protagonist inspires a man by her individualistic characteristics that he is compelled to redefine his ideology of being wealthy. The community is typical in its norms, values, and ethical appreciation. People give worth to status, money, and position. Class consciousness has been infiltrated into the subconscious of people. The individual identities reflect the community presented in the novel by creating its overall impression, proving that good and bad, or worthy and unworthy individuals all contribute to making life diverse, colorful, and challenging.
Individual identities presented in the novel display varying relationships with the images of the community. Individuals belong to different classes of society and demonstrate attitudes and behaviors that are distinguished from one another. The characters of Bingley and Gardiners are almost mediating the rigid identities of individuals belonging to the upper class. These characters are not arrogant; they know how to behave humanely even after having inherited a huge amount of wealth. On the other hand, characters of Caroline and Mr. Collins seem to be devoid of emotions, and they are pretentious in their opinions. One can easily find the shallowness of their concern for other people’s problems. Lady Catherine is unique in her role, but her character is not uncommon to such a community, as is presented in the novel. Jane Austin's novel is a serious critique of the society of that era. However, he is not against the norms of that society at all. There are individuals in the community who do not stick to the fake values apprehended by society. Darcy, who is in love with Jane, shows dramatic changes in his attitude and behavior over time. Both the main characters of the story represent two distinct classes of society. Darcy proves that humans are trustworthy in every context and that the change is not impossible to bring about in mind and character. His arrogance transforms into politeness at the end of the story. He finally wins Elizabeth's affection because of his generosity and convinces her that high-class gentry also includes individuals like him who prefer moral values over vanity and status. Elizabeth’s feminine individualism has influenced the mind and actions of Darcy (Cahya et al., 2017).
The community overall presents an image of a group of people who have inherited a culture rich in traditions and norms and have a particular way of life and related preferences. People give value to money and status. Individuals are weighed based on their net worth. Mothers are anxious and concerned about finding "gentlemen" for their daughters. Girls, for having been brought up in such a community, behave in the same manner as they are expected to do. The impression of class status has been so deeply penetrated in the minds of people that they are not able to evaluate a person irrespective of the class associated. Gardiners is the emerging class of society, and they show an alliance with the upper class (Lorenz, 2017). They have succeeded in creating an impression of them to be the refined, sophisticated individuals of the community.
Marriage was the only way to achieve financial security and stability for women in the period wherein the setting of the story has been made. Though the story revolves around the love affair between Darcy and Elizabeth and explores various tensions of love between the couple, yet it indicates many things related to the social trends of that era. Marriage was considered the only option for women to leave the social class they belonged to and upgrade their lives (Huang, 2017). This was, however, not possible in every case. Every woman was not fortunate enough to secure a better "financial deal." The novel reflects brilliantly the psychological processes affecting decisions and choices of individuals involved. The mother of five sisters, Mrs. Bennet, represents the stereotype of mothers of that particular social context, who is worried about getting her daughters married to the well-to-do gentlemen to secure their future. Charlotte also represents the typical girl of her class and period, who accepts the offer of marriage only for securing a safe future, having little concern for love and mutual connection with the betrothed. On the contrary, Elizabeth, the evident protagonist of the story, rejects the social trend of her class and disapproves of the offer she gets from a well-settled person belonging to an upper class relatively. She breaks the stereotype of a particular girl and prefers love and humanity to the financial comforts of life.
Identities and images of the community are diverse and varying, which represent the life of people in a specific period of history and related to a particular community. Individuals interact with each other influencing others' thoughts, attitudes, and adopted values. Individuals are different in adaptability. Some of them can change considerably to be able to adjust in society or save relationships. Others do not change their perceptions and create an atmosphere of rigidity in the community. The varying concerns and involvements of individuals in a community give shades and colors the people’s mutual relationships.
Cahya, W. D., Suwastini, N. K. A., Hu, M., & Mahayanti, N. W. S. (2017). The Characterization of Elizabeth Bennet as a Post-feminist in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Jurnal Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris Undiksha, 4(2).
Huang, J. (2017). Love and Fortune Balance in Marriage—View of marriage in Pride and Prejudice. 2017 International Conference on Innovations in Economic Management and Social Science (IEMSS 2017).
Lorenz, M. (2017). Pride and Prejudice and social identity theory. In Jane Austen and Sciences of the Mind (pp. 115–135). Routledge.
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